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6 Texas Metros Where a Teacher’s Salary Goes the Furthest: Analysis

(NEXSTAR) — Many teachers across the U.S. continue to face low wages, but in some metropolitan areas, an educator’s salary can stretch further than in others.

The projected average national salary for public school teachers for the 2022-23 school year is $68,469, according to the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in the country. When adjusted for inflation, the average has declined by 6.4% over the past decade, the NEA said in its annual Rankings and Estimates report.

In McAllen, educators have the highest purchasing power compared to teachers in other cities, based on data analyzed by the personal finance firm MoneyGeek.

The average annual salary in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area is $73,153 – but after accounting for taxes and the cost of living, the adjusted take-home pay comes to $68,271. Again, that’s still higher than elsewhere in the country, according to MoneyGeek’s report, which ranked the metro areas that offer the best real income for educators.

Aside from McAllen, several other cities in the Lone Star State made it into the top 15 of the overall ranking that included the average salaries for K-12, postsecondary, preschool, substitute and self-enrichment teachers.

Metros with the highest adjusted teacher salaries

RankMetropolitan AreaTake-Home Pay*Average Annual Salary
1McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$68,271$73,153
2Auburn-Opelika, AL$66,080$85,617
3El Paso, TX$65,260$74,846
4Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$65,198$79,310
5San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$64,031$76,777
6Austin-Round Rock, TX$61,973$80,805
7Knoxville, TN$60,559$67,801
8St. Louis, MO-IL$59,819$74,316
9Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$58,987$77,591
10Kalamazoo-Portage, MI$58,577$66,425
11Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$57,976$83,906
12Cleveland-Elyria, OH$57,964$73,307
13New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$57,781$101,068
14Reno, NV$57,226$77,310
15Brownsville-Harlingen, TX$57,036$58,305
Source: MoneyGeek | *Take-home pay includes income after tax and living costs.

Even though New York City has the highest average salary listed in the top 15, at $101,068, the take-home pay dwindles to $57,781 when considering income tax and living expenses.

For K-12 educators looking to get the most out of their salaries, the Kennewick-Richland metro area in Washington might be ideal. K-12 teachers have the highest take-home pay here at an average of $60,822. Meanwhile, postsecondary teachers have the highest purchasing power in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with an average take-home pay of $84,429.

Among the 178 metropolitan areas that MoneyGeek analyzed, Hawaii’s capital fared the worst for teachers pay. The annual income for educators in Honolulu averages $51,778, but the take-home pay comes to just $22,677.

Other cities where teachers earn less than $35,000 after taxes and living costs include Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Prescott, Arizona.

An article published in April on the NEA’s website noted that low wages haven’t been on par with inflation and could worsen school staffing shortages as teachers look for better pay.

“Educators who dedicate their lives to students shouldn’t be struggling to support their own families,” NEA President Becky Pringle said in the article. “A career in education must not be a lifetime sentence of financial worry. Who will choose to teach under those circumstances?”

Metros with the lowest adjusted teacher salaries

RankMetropolitan AreaTake-Home Pay*Average Annual Salary
162Rapid City, SD$39,681$45,945
163Valdosta, GA$39,454$47,195
164Durham-Chapel Hill, NC$39,405$54,710
165Flagstaff, AZ$39,350$60,297
166Pueblo, CO$39,284$50,688
167Evansville, IN-KY$39,135$47,842
168Manhattan, KS$38,927$46,497
169Muncie, IN$38,919$45,263
170Colorado Springs, CO$37,912$55,747
171Burlington, NC$37,565$45,235
172San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$37,505$95,775
173Kokomo, IN$36,943$41,227
174Bloomington, IN$36,224$47,406
175Grand Junction, CO$35,178$47,655
176Prescott, AZ$34,976$50,646
177Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC$32,434$44,082
178Honolulu, HI$22,677$58,094
Source: MoneyGeek | *Take-home pay includes income after tax and living costs.

MoneyGeek analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Council for Community and Economic Research for its analysis. Click here to view the full report.

Source : Kxan